Born: Aug 4, 1962
What is best remembered about William RogerClemens is the blazing fastball that earned him the nickname "The Rocket." The heralded fastballer from the University of Texas won 192 games and lost 111 during 13 spectacular seasons where he won three Cy Young Awards. Clemens left the Red Sox to sign with Toronto as a free agent in December 1996. No one expected what followed. On a team that finished 76-86 in 1997 and 88-74 in 1998, Clemens was 21-7 and 20-6. He also won the pitching Triple Crown both years and walked away with his fourth and fifth Cy Young trophies.
All that remained was for "The Rocket" to pitch for a World Series winner. He requested a trade from Toronto and seemed likely to land near his Houston home. But neither of the Rangers or Astros were willing to meet his contract demands. He was eventually traded in February 1999 to the New York Yankees.
Although his 1999 season was hardly a Rocket launch -- he finished 14-10 with an ERA of 4.60 -- his goal of pitching for a World Series winner was realized. He won the deciding Game 4 of the World Series as the Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves.
A panel selected Clemens for Major League Baseball's "All Century Team" as one of the 100 greatest players. He was chosen by fans as one of the six greatest pitchers of all time.
Clemens announced his retirement after the Yankees lost the 2003 World Series to the Florida Marlins. But when teammate Andy Pettitte -- a fellow Houstonian -- signed as a free agent with the Astros in December 2003, Clemens decided to join the Astros as well the following January.
In 2004, Clemens picked up a record seventh Cy Young Award as he led the Astros to the NLCS. He posted an 18-4 record with 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts. In 2005, the Astros reached the World Series. Clemens suffered from poor run support but delivered a 13-8 record with a 1.87 ERA. Toying with retirement, Roger was lured back in June of 2006, registering a 7-6 record with a 2.30 ERA at age 43.
Clemens came out of retirement yet again in 2007 but this time he returned to the Yankees for a final season. He completed a career of 354 wins (ninth all-time), and 4,672 strikeouts (third all-time).
However, Clemens' name appeared in the Mitchell Report, identifying users of performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens denied "juicing" which led all the way to the halls of Congress where he testified that his former trainer was lying about injecting steroids into his system. The details that came forward afterwards were tabloid fodder, including revelations about his wife using steroids to get in shape for a swimsuit pictoral and accusations that Roger had an extra-marital affair with country music star Mindy McCready.